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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  September 1, 2010 2:00am-3:00am EDT

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thanks for joining us. president obama declares combat mission over. the question is what is the direction going forward.
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did we get answers tonight? we'll talk about that with my guests. also tonight, growing fear and opposition to a mosque in the buckle of the bible belt, and growing fears within the mosque, worshippers are afraid of their neighbors in some cases and the fear is growing. local muslims getting police protection after an apparent arson attack. we'll ask the leaders why she thinks they are praying there for decades and should not be able to build this place of worship. and an update on earl. a category 4 monster, still heading for the east coast. we could know more about it, when and where it will hit and we'll bring that to you first. but we begin, efforts to stop the mosque. not the one two blocks from ground zero here in new york but
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one in mo more missboro, tennessee. the spokeswoman for the mosque says they are scared. >> it's very hard to explain to children what's going on. it's very hard to explain to little kids, when they ask you, mommy, are these people for or against us, it's taken a toll on the community. >> there's been a mosque there in one form or another for some 30 years. and the spokeswoman says the existing one is too small. this is what they got approval to build. where the suspected arson took place, that's the plan. a ball field, playground, burial ground, parking lot, walking paths and a mosque. as for the money? 95% of it is from local donations. as for the opposition, people have defaced and destroyed signs, they've rallied against it and the message on the sign says "not welcome." and now what appears to be arson. during a recent segment, pat
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robertson singled out the center and says he's not in favor of cities stopping churches from built or other restrictions on freedom of religion but he said this isn't really about religion. >> if they start brings thousands of thousands of muslim into that relatively rural area, the next thank you know they'll take over the city council and then they're going to be having an ordinance that calls for public prayer five times a day. and then they're going to be having ordinances that they'll have to be facilities for foot washing in all the public restrooms and all the airport facilities, et cetera, and before long, they're going to demand, demand, demand, demand, and little by little, the citizens of the town, are going to be cowed -- >> mr. robertson goes on to warn against their ability to, quote, bribe folks to buy influence. i don't know if anyone is
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getting a pay you've be it's entirely possible. the imagery is somehow of them invading the land. we have similar terms in the same segment she offer this is explanation of why muslims there want to expand their mosque, quote, you have bible book publishers. christian book publishers and children stain music headquartered here. they are still fighting the crusaders and see this as the capital of the crusaders. lori, earlier this month, as i said, the spokeswoman for the mosque opposition. i spoke to her earlier tonight. i want to share with you something that you recently said at a demonstration here in new york. >> in tennessee, like many communities we are witnessing a rise of radical islamist groups bent on building these compounds to further their radical agenda. many local officials are being pulled into believing these are
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just religious structures for worship. >> this mosque in tennessee, what evidence do you have, that has condemned this to the christian network and the vast majority of muslims that have practiced there years and years, what evidence do you have that they are creating terror? >> in the past, it hadn't been a problem. but after the recent statements on the my space page gives rise to huge concern in our community. >> again, which he was removed from the board for and then investigated apparently, by the mosque and i don't know the details. what is on somebody's my space page and we don't know the details of that. they say he was investigated by the mosque and you say he's still being investigated, that's somebody on the board, what evidence do you have that this mosque, how many people have they converted to radical islam and sent overseas to ferment
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terror? >> i think there's a lapse in judgment by the leadership to implement a board member or to reinstate a board member who made statements like that to kill jews. if they're trying to bring peace and this is the religion of peace that doesn't sound like the religion of peace to me, andson, i'm sorry. it's a threat to the community, not just the jewish or christian community, but the muslim community, too. >> can muslims be good citizens? >> of course. my concern is not with the good citizens. mine is the -- those who are pursuing a radical agenda. >> why not pursue those that have the radical agenda and allow the vast majority of the population in your town to have a mosque where they can worship. >> we don't have a problem with that. >> why not allow a mosque to be built and go after specific individuals if you have evidence against them? >> not if they have board
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members who are tied to radical extremist groups. >> so why don't you gather evidence against that board member and allow the mosque itself? >> we have gathered evidence and the rutherford county sheriff's department and homeland security and fbi are continuing to conduct the investigation. >> so what should muslims in tennessee do to worship? if they can't build the mosque that they want, what are you telling them to do in. >> anderson, they have a mosque. nobody is saying they can't -- >> but they're saying they don't have enough room and they would like to expand their mosque. >> that's fine. but you know something in there's goes -- there's got to be due diligence done on the associations and the ties of the leaders. that is what we're calling into question. we've done the research. and now we want -- we're asking questions -- why was this guy reinstated? why was he on their board in the first place. >> so your sole opposition to
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this mosque is the fact that this board member had something on his myspace page? >> yes, his myspace page and the doctor for teaching at a months income irving, texas, that's under investigates for terrorist activities. >> so two reasons. because, one, they used to preach at another mosque that you say is under investigation. and because a board member had something on his myspace page. >> yes. >> that's it? >> certainly. that's enough. that is enough. it's not about their religion. it never has been. it's about stopping the advancement of radical islam in the united states of america and in our community. >> lori, i appreciate your time, thank you. >> thank you. some strong allegations about the mosque and one of its board members. after we finished taping the interview we made some calls. we talked to a local reporter and he confirms the board member
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in question was investigated by the fbi because of allegations of the statements on a myspace page but no charges were brought and he was reinstated by the mosque. then we cobbed the, fbi about the allegation that the mosque in texas is or was under investigation by the fbi for terrorism-related activities. she said it is currently under investigation. the source we spoke to was unaware of the allegations and was not aware of what ms. cordoza-moore was talking about. we have kami. what do you make of what she says? she's saying that your months sk a hotbed of extremism. let's start with the member of your board. why was he reinstated as a member of the board if questions were raised about something on his myspace page? >> i want you to understand, we took those allegations very seriously. we suspended him from many privileges at the mosque.
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we turned this over to local and federal authorities. he was cleared by both local and federal authorities and therefore, he was reinstated. >> do you know what it was on the myspace page? she said he made statements against jews and about jihad? >> a lot of her allegations are incorrect. i'm not sure exactly what was on his myspace page. it was deleted right after he was accused of these things because he was so worried about his reputation. she set out to slander him, i do believe. the fbi and local authorities investigated his myspace page thoroughly and they found absolutely no links to terrorism. >> she also says that the at your mosque was once a visiting professor at a mosque in texas that she claims still under fbi investigation. our source at the fbi says they don't know what she's talking about. is your amom my understanding is that he has renounced hezbollah
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and hamas off camera. in the spectrum islam where does he stand? is he radical? >> he is not radical. he comes from cairo, egypt. >> she said -- it's a prestigious university. she said it's a hotbed of terrorism. >> it could be compared where harvard. a lot of her allegations are completely false. he's one of the most respected members in our community. he absolutely does not -- he does not approve of any type of terrorist activity. he's one of the most respected members in our community. >> how long has this mosque -- has your mosque been in operation there? >> we've had members here for almost 30 years. and for her to just now jump in and start making accusations it's completely ludicrous. >> so in the 30 years you've had
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members and you've been in your current location for how long? >> in our current location since the mid 90s. >> okay. so whether it's at your current location or in your history, your 30-year history here in this town, have you had good relations with the people here? >> we've had wonderful relationships with all of our neighbors here. to me, it seems like she's the extremist at this point. she's the one going around the united states, lobbying against islamic centers throughout all of the united states. it's not just the ones here. so to me, she's the one who is terrorizing our community and she's trying to plant doubt and fear within our community since she's began this campaign and it seems like it's working with some of those but ych to point out that our town is such a great place and a lot of times in the media you just see the opposition but the amount of support we've received is tremendous. this has been a dark cloud but it has a huge, huge silver lining and we're so thankful to
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all of those that supported us. >> you saw what pat robertson said, basically implying that you want to build this big mosque so you can bring in thousands of muslims who will then take over the city. why do you want to build a bigger mosque? >> right now our current facility is about 2200 square foot and it can't accommodate. we have over 1,000 members. we have about 250 families. but when you add in children and wives, it's over 1,000 members. we can't squeeze in any more. we're packed. we're not trying to build a megamosque either. when we submitted the plans to the city we tried to share our vision with the city. the first phase one, is around 6800 square feet. that's very small in comparison with a lot of local churches there. >> in terms of where this goes from here, you've asked for
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police protection. are you getting police protection now at the site? >> we are getting police protection. i think it's very sad that we have to ask for police protection. we're the ones being terrorized and she's accusing us of having terrorist activities to -- >> sorry. the other thing she said. someone at your mosque was handing out pamphlets made by the muslim brotherhood which is outlawed in egypt where it's born but is popular and elsewhere. are you guys affiliated with the muslim brotherhood in any way? >> we're not affiliated with anyone and the comment she made is a lie, to be honest with you. >> so there's no pamphlet being handed out? >> absolutely i can say 100%, that's a lie. >> people who are, you know, she's making allegations with a very broad brush about islam. where are you in the spectrum of -- what branch of islam are you? what are you practicing?
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>> we practice islam. i'm not clear on your question. >> sorry. sunni, shia? >> yeah, sunni. >> and what happens now? you've got an approval to build this. are you going to go ahead and build this despite what's going on in. >> absolutely. like i said, the supporters behind us far outnumber those opposed to us. we feel good about our neighbors and we feel good that they are trying to support us and which don't want to focus on the negativity of those that become vigilantes and threaten us and things like that so absolutely we plan on moving forward. >> and the funding for this, you say 95% comes from local residents. the opposition says that many mosques in the united states get funding from saudi arabia. are you receiving international funding and in so, are you transparent about where your funding comes from? >> we're completely opened door.
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if you have questions or concerns we encourage you to come to us. probably 98% of all funding comes from within our congregation. since this started up we started accepting donations from the united states only and we're being very careful about where donations are coming from. but completely transparent. >> kami, thanks for being on. >> thank you so much. >> let us know what you think. up next, we'll continue the conversation with our panel and bring you the stung results of a new poll on how many americans believe that president obama similar nices with islamic fundamentalists. >> are plans for iraq going forward? were there clear signals about that? and a late update on hurricane earl. chad myers will bring it to us when it comes in. give you immediate relieftey that lasts all day long. dr. scholl's. visit our facebook page to save $3.
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hey what's going on? doing the shipping. man, it would be a lot easier if we didn't have to weigh 'em all. if those boxes are under 70 lbs. you don't have to weigh 'em. with these priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service, if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. no weigh? nope. no way. yeah. no weigh? sure. no way! uh-uh. no way. yes way, no weigh. priority mail flat rate box shipping starts at $4.95, only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. we've got late breaking election news. a week after the primary, lisa murkowski is conceding in a close primary between her and sarah palin-backed challenger joe miller.
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both the mosque story and the presidential address. a striking new polling numbers. "newsweek" did a survey, 7% of americans believe the president sympathizes with islamic fundamentalists. among republicans, however, the number's higher, 14% say that's definitely true. 38% say it's probably true that he sympathizes. 33% of republicans believe it's probably not true. 7% say it's definitely not true the president of the united states of america sympathize with islamic fundamentalists. let's bring in fareed zakaria, david gergen, former bush spokesman, ari fleischer and democratic strategist, paul begala. what do you make of this? couldn't the results be another way of people who don't like the president expressing disapproval or do you really think the numbers mean that the people -- the president of the united states supports sharia law? >> i think it's a republican thing, that's why i don't understand it. when you break it out by party
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it turns out, for example, one of the questions "newsweek" asked, you think the president favors are muslim americans or has he been even handed with all americans? 59% say he favors muslims but 62% of independents say, no, no, he's been even handed. set the democrat as side, they're going to love anything obama does. this is no the what independent americans think at all and it's not certainly what democrats think. it's just a republican thing. they could believe -- i think they should have asked do you believe the president was complicit in the murder of elvis presley, and they would have say, sure, he killed elvis. >> you think it's a republican thing? >> i think paul's point is why nobody should take it seriously, it's a political thing. i lived on the other side when the liberal democrat base used to say more things about george bush. if you took a poll at height of bush's unpopularity and said do you think he's un-american, the overwhelming majority of the democratic party would have said yes. this is our political strife these days from the sides of both parties. it makes sense, the independents don't buy into it. both parties have their vociferous wins.
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i don't think it should be taken literally. it should be taken as an element of the politicization of all our debates. >> david, do you buy that? is this nature of politics or is there something about president obama and what at least republicans of the country see? >> i think it has to do with president obama, it has more to do with 9/11 and the fear of terrorism. it's a fever. and we go through these periodic fevers. if you go back to the presidency of harry truman with dean atchison of secretary of state a widespread view of the country that harry truman and atchison were sympathetic. when nixon first ran for office against douglas, he argued she was pink down to her underwear. that sort of conversation has been in american discourse for a long time, and the fevers come and go. we've got another one now. >> david is right. this is part of the paranoid style of american politics, there is a kind of fever. however what is different with this, compared to the attitude towards bush, ari is right, the attitude is harry truman is,
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there is a racial and religious tinge here, perhaps more than a tinge. and that's very unsettling for a country that celebrates diversity to have, you know, to be characterizing obama would not be characterized by this way if he were an elderly, white gentleman. >> so -- is this a way of talking about -- expressing racial concerns without talking about race? >> i think it's a way of making him seem other, seem foreign, seem untrustworthy, seem somehow you know, not part of mainstream america. >> but it works in both directions, again. with bush, again, being a fundamentalist christian, there are many people, again the democrat left predominantly who said he's not tolerant, he's not open, he's not accepting, she's not smart. and so it does work in both directions. >> i think that there's a -- that in this country of all countries to have this be layered with race and religion is very harmful. >> i agree with that, fareed, but it is true some people want to make him seem like other.
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but there are times when he contributes to it himself. >> talking on the mosque issue, should he have spoken on that? >> i thought he should but in contrast to his philadelphia speech or race and i thought he was superb on during the campaign. empathized with views of people different from his. in the case of the mosque i thought he showed no understanding of people who objected to the mosque where it was. we're not anti-muslim. you can be pro muslim and still have problems where that mosque is going to be put in new york. >> interesting to see if any of the people, newt gingrichs, sarah palins of the world will come out in favor of the mosque in tennessee, which is thousands of miles from ground zero. >> i agree with that. i agree with that. >> and they will be opposed to every mosque in the country. >> but you do when you have 60% of americans who are troubled where the mosque was going to go, they're not anti-muslim. this country's very tolerant. there are pockets like murfreesboro where the fever has struck.
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>> but think on -- in na case, the president uniquely has a responsibility to defend the constitution. >> he also -- >> the first amendment of the bill of rights pertains -- >> it's not only argument about that. there were other arguments. as opposed to the philadelphia speech, where i thought he really understand people who did not think like he did. >> but that is not a license to then start painting him as some kind of weird, dark-faced foreigner who actually secretly sympathizes with al qaeda. >> you just said that probably sarah palin and newt gingrich oppose every mosque in this country. you're doing it on the show, too. >> sure. but i will lay this down on the show. if they will come out in favor of the construction of a new mosque anywhere in the country, i will be impressed. i have not -- >> what you said you think they oppose every mosque in the country. >> every new mosque. let me amend it and be clear of what i'm saying. i'm saying if the problem is you don't want a new mosque next to 9/11, what about the one in tennessee?
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what about the one in texas? what about the one in california? there are protests against all of those that have been funded, organized and supported by many of the people who are supporting -- who are against the mosque. >> we heard from the woman in murfreesboro, the muslim woman that there are a lot of people in murfreesboro who favor what they're doing. she's impressed by the outpouring of support. i say most americans have been embracing of the muslim religion. most americans have been tolerant. and george w. bush himself spoke out. >> it's interesting now that there is this -- >> the president has a special responsibility to stand up for individual rights and minority rights when they were -- when they are placed under the pressure by majority suspicions. >> but there are not just the rights of the muslims. there are also rights of the families who lost loved ones. there are other rights involved here. there are other -- >> what are the rights? >> that's why -- >> that's why the mosque at ground zero is unique. >> what's that?
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>> are those questions asked of any preacher setting up any other house of religion in the country? >> would the pope after a big controversy of -- >> there's no question that they have the right to do it. >> he had a right to do it, put the catholic convent in auschwitz but the pope said it's not a good idea. >> more on the politics up in alaska about lisa murkowski conceding, joe miller is the candidate for alaska. we're going to dig deeper on the republican side, at least, on what president obama said about the mission in iraq, afghanistan, tough times here at home. as soon as they come in, new data on where hurricane earl is headed. a monster storm now. where on the east coast the cat 4 storm could hit. details from chad ahead. let's find out why. this malibu is sharp, has great mileage and offers onstar. the hundred thousand mile powertrain warranty caught my attention. it's the chevrolet summer event, which means the only thing left to decide is who drives it home. me! her. me! qualified lessees now get a low mileage lease
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coming up, hurricane earl takes a dangerous turn, mandatory evacuations order ford portions of north carolina, as the cat 4 storm whips toward the east coast. federal emergency teams in place, we're told, bracing for the worst. chad meyers joins us with an update from the national hurricane center that will be shortly. first, tonight's other important stories. the "360 bulletin." >> anderson, rough weather in the gulf is delaying bp's efforts to kill the damaged oil well. officials planned to replace a blowout preventer. a crucial step in permanently sealing the well. however, according to authorities, winds may ease by the weekend for work to continue. in chile, the drilling is under way in the effort to reach those 33 miners trapped since early august. the men are surviving on supplies funneled in from above. according to medic, tomorrow's menu will include rice and beef, their first hot meal in three
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weeks. zsa zsa gabor rushed to the hospital this morning after her husband found her unresponsive. the 93-year-old has suffered a series of setbacks following complications from hip surgery. a spokesman for gabor's daughter says doctors told her the situation is not life threatening. and in las vegas, drug charges filed against paris hilton, prosecutors say a bundle of cocaine fell out of her purse after a traffic stop over the weekend. according to the police report, she says she thought it was -- anderson, she thought it was chewing gum. >> really? are you serious? >> here's the thing. people are thinking that the chewing gum detail in the story is like the juiciest element, get it, juicy, gum? moving on, they think it's the juiciest element of the report. but it actually isn't. what struck me was the fact that it says in the report it's when paris asked for her purse to be
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handed to her, so she could put lip balm on, that's when the cop says he -- >> when it fell out. >> that's when it allegedly fell out. here's my thing, a police report with lip balm and allegations of cocaine they thought was chewing gum, like a plot from a bad british soap. >> a bad -- that's true. we'll check in with you later. a bundle of cocaine. what were they thinking? president obama declares "operation iraqi freedom" is over. breaking news out of alaska lisa murkowski conceding defeat to joe miller, the palin-backed candidate. we'll talk about that with ari fleischer and paul begala. breaking news on hurricane earl, officials ordering mandatory evacuations as a big storm, massive storm, takes aim at the carolinas. chad myers has the latest ahead.
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breaking news tonight. two-term republican senator lisa murkowski conceding the alaska gop primary. the winner in a close race, joe miller. back with ari fleischer, david gergen. peter bergen to talk about the president's speech. a sign of the power of sarah palin for the endorsement. >> this is actually good news for the republicans, now that it's finally over. it's a shock that lisa murkowski lost but now it's a unified field. alaska's safe territory for republicans. it will be a seat republicans are going to win. >> sarah palin, though, paul,
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now i think 5 for 5 in this last round? >> oh, i think she's lost a few and won a few. but, first, congratulations to her. good for her. congratulations to mr. miller who won an unlikely upset there. the interesting thing politically about alaska, alaska gets $1.84 from washington for each dollar it sends down there. it's a welfare state. it gets more from the rest of the stated. though it's on an ocean of oil, and i was okay with that because they kept re-electing ted stevens, the late senator who was chairman of the appropriations committee and king of pork. now, the republicans have nominated a guy who wants federal spending. it's good news for the other 49 because we can bring that money home. we don't need to spend any more money in alaska. they're swimming in oil. now they'll nominate a candidate who doesn't want any more federal money. i say amen. how about we bring the money home to the other 49 states who might use it? >> president obama spoke about the need for money tonight. maybe he'll be listening to you, paul. he also spoke about the end of the combat mission in iraq and the president's speech. let's play some of what the president said tonight. >> so tonight, i'm announcing that the american combat mission
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in iraq has ended. "operation iraqi freedom" is over, and the iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country. this was my pledge to the american people as a candidate for this office. last february, i announced a plan that would bring our combat brigades out of iraq while redoubling efforts to strengthen iraq's security forces and support its government and people. that's what we've done. we've removed nearly 100,000 u.s. troops from iraq. we've closed or transferred to the iraqis hundreds of bases. we moved millions of pieces of equipment out of iraq. going forward, a transitional force of u.s. troops will remain in iraq with a different mission, advising, assisting iraq's security forces, supporting iraqi troops in targeted counterterrorism missions, and protecting our civilians. consistent with our agreement
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with the iraqi government, all u.s. troops will leave by the end of next year. >> out of iraq by the end of next year, that was the promise from president obama. he said the combat missions over but america can and will provide for the iraqi people as a friend and partner. you were working for george w. bush. i was curious what you thought as you listened to this. not a great speech but an historic moment. >> my first thought 7 1/2 years ago i was in the oval office when the president gave a speech committing us to iraq, and it's appropriate. americans don't like to commit troops abroad. when we do, we want to win and we want to come home. i think president bush is the one because of the surge. 2008, when the shoe thrown at him announcement of the security agreement with the iraqi government to bring troops home at the end of 2011. the day had to come. i'm glad the day was able to come and president obama gave a speech where he could thank the troops who also made this possible, who deserve all of the credit for making it possible.
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>> do you think he should have said more about president bush? >> it would have been gracious of him if he mentioned the surge but the problem he has, for president obama to put president bush, iraq and anything good in the same sentence, the democrat base, which doesn't want to show up in november, so -- i wish he was more gracious but it but he's his own democratic comparative and he followed those tonight. >> paul, what do you think about the speech? >> first, he was trying to do three different things say we're going withdraw from iraq, surge into afghanistan, but withdraw from there, too, and i want to pick up on the point about the surge because it is staggering to me. first off, the surge was only necessary because bush, dick cheney and donald rumsfeld went to war with too few troop because he wanted to prove the general wrong. that's why we did it in the first place. second it could never have preceding sunni awakening iraqis themselves had to decide. it was the american surge that
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cured it. it was the sunni awakening. but i'll make a deal with president bush. we'll give you all of the credit for the surge if you take half of the blame for the lies that got us into the war by which i mean iraq -- excuse me, ari, by which i mean -- >> no, paul -- >> saying iraq was an imminent threat to america, by saying it was a mushroom cloud it could become a smoking gun, the drones that saddam supposedly had that would gas morning, the connections that they alleged, which were false, between al qaeda and saddam's regime. so, you know, there was so much they got wrong about this, some of it, just botched and some of it was deeply dishonest and the notion that somehow bush is owed any moment of grace is appalling to the history. >> neither you nor anybody else, including your old boss, bill clinton, challenged bush when he said that because the intelligence they saw led them to the same conclusion. >> you know they didn't see -- >> first off -- >> you didn't see the intelligence.
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this is the night president obama said thanks to the military, our troops are coming home. i was gracious enough to praise president obama for saying that. it's an appropriate moment for the country to bring them home. for you to say president bush lied about this, paul, that is exactly the type of divisiveness we're trying it move beyond in this country when you know as well as i do he followed the intelligence from the cia. >> he manipulated and cherry picked the intelligence as did mr. cheney and mr. rumsfeld and that's why 4,427 are dead. >> nothing to cherry pick. that's everything we needed to know. >> when dick cheney said, that's saddam has long-established ties with al qaeda, the evidence is overwhelming, the iraq study group said no that wasn't true the 911 commission report said saddam had ties to al qaeda. >> the commission report -- >> it said they weren't operational. our point of view is never let them become operational. >> this is the thing, he was no threat to america. ari, himself -- >> you're changing the tune because you recognizing the 9/11 report agreed with what bush said.
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>> they said there will were operational links. there were none. >> that's right. we didn't want them to become one. >> we don't want canada to have operational links either. >> how about we have operation canadian freedom? >> no, look, this was from the beginning, it was a war of choice, it was mr. bush's choice, and it was a tragic choice. 4,427 americans are dead. 35,000 americans are wounded, plus those suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder plus those suffering from traumatic brain injury. this is a catastrophe for america. a catastrophe for our armed services who serve with heroism. for mr. fleisher to expect a pat on the back it's appalling. as in texas we said it's chutzpah. >> paul's view, we're better off and safer off if saddam was still running iraq. >> and 4,427 would alive. >> paul, every time anybody loses their life in the military, our nation suffers for it. any one individual anywhere. but the point is we now have a
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new iraq and a iraq that has a chance to become a bastion of freedom and hopefully an iraq that can change the arab middle east so it's a peaceful area where wars don't start. that's why i hope now with the 50,000 remaining troops we will be successful and don't lose the peace in iraq which is now -- >> we have a diminished america, a depleted america. we have divided america. we have tragically military cemeteries filling up, a hell of a price to pay to get rid of a guy who was no threat to america. >> no threat to america? >> zero. >> i want to bring in our other panelists. just a quick break. we're going to have an update on hurricane earl, category 4 storm, where it may make landfall. details from chad meyers. you talk to these guys. they go through every car and truck we make with a big fat red pencil. because they know a family's going to be inside. a teenager.
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we continue our discussion with the president's speech with david gergen, peter bergen and fareed zakaria, ari fleischer, and paul begala. you were disappointed overall. >> we haven't quite turned the page, have we? >> the president tonight saying let's turn the page. >> the -- president obama promised he was going to bring troops home in this way, he kept his promise, he deserves credit for that. beyond that anderson, i must say i was troubled by the speech because i felt that, in looking forward, not back, looking forward, the president did not define what the mission is in iraq or in afghanistan, and it sounds dangerously as if what's important is deadline, not success. i had hoped we would be leaving when we left iraq and when we leave afghanistan we will leave
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more stable countries, more stable governments. i didn't hear that tonight. i didn't hear about success. i heard about we're getting the heck out of here, over to you. >> peter bergen, 51 people kill in iraq last week, in attacks by al qaeda and other affiliated groups. also in afghanistan a tough road ahead. the stability of both those places, how do you see it? >> neither are good. picking up on something david said, i thought it was interesting, the president used the phrase conditions based about afghanistan. very, very significant disagreements that continue to exist between the u.s. military and the political sides of the white house. >> he's saying next july we'll start reducing troops but based on conditions on the ground. >> right. and everybody can take whatever they want from that. it's not a definition of what david was saying, you know, some kind of vision of what afghanistan should look like or might look like. it's just a way of papering over significant disagreements that continue to exist about what we're doing in afghanistan, how long we'll be there. >> john mccain's point is you're undercutting -- john mccain
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who praises the increase of troops but you're undercutting that by setting a withdrawal date, whether it's condition-based or not. >> yeah. on the other hand i think that obama approaches this very much the way dwight eisenhower approached foreign entanglements. he thought it was important the united states assert itself, the united states military assert itself but there's got to be a sense of constraints, of the costs, the limits to military involvement. eisenhower was careful not engage in open-ended commitments about grand transformation of the war. i think obama and secretary gates have explicitly praised eisenhower for this. so i think his caution, david gergen is not hearing church bells ringing in this obama speech, but that is -- that is barack obama. he's very much -- it's odd, he's a hard-headed realist from the eisenhower/nixon/kissinger school and does not believe the role of the u.s. military is to write a blank check to
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afghanistan for the next 25 years. >> eisenhower believed if you commit the troops you commit to when. >> he didn't. >> he did not believe -- >> he basically found a way of getting out of korea -- >> he didn't commit the troop on korea. he was not the one who sent them in there. very careful where he went in but he was always about we need victory, we need to stand up. >> both these wars began before him. he is trying to in effect manage them responsibly without creating open-ended engagement. i think it is irresponsible, in fact, it is quite responsible for a president to draw some lines. >> the reason we set a date in iraq to come out now was we said if we set a deadline it would force iraqis, encourage iraqis to form their government and be self-sufficient. >> that was -- >> that deadline has not worked. >> that was bush for the surge. >> this was barack obama's argument for pulling out now.
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if you set a deadline, things were going to happen. it's not clear if you set deadlines -- >> stay in iraq another ten years for the sunnis and shias find the ideal coalition government that they're going to come on, i don't believe that is dependent on u.s. troops. that is dependent on visionary leadership in iraq that might exist with american troops. assuming that the united states can somehow orchestrate, you know, a wonderful, modern liberal democratic iraq, i'm not sure that's true. >> i don't think that's true. but you would like to think that we are going to lead with a stable iraq. if our commitment -- we're only staying around for a deadline, that's it. we're going to help you, over to you, you're in charge now. >> david, it strikes me that that's a high number. by the way, there is no distinction between combat and noncombat troops. they can do whatever the president asks them to do. >> we have to leave it there. good discussion. breaking news, new
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information about hurricane earl heading for the east coast. time for the labor day weekend. chad meyers has a live update. . catching up over wood-grilled shrimp and chicken. and with lunches starting at just $6.99... it's an hour you wouldn't trade for anything.
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breaking news tonight. hurricane earl, a cat 4 storm barreling toward the east coast,
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mandatory evacuations for portions of the north carolina coast as officials brace for the one-two punch of high winds and surging floodwaters. the latest from chad myers, our meteorologist in atlanta. >> huge waves, too, anderson. also the threat of rip currents, up and down the east coast really putting all swimmers in danger wednesday, thursday, and friday. by saturday, it gets better but still waves out there. this is a large and dangerous storm. here are the turks and caicos, which are south of the bahamas. here's florida, it's already here, and a large storm. no effect at all on haiti. great news there. the people there don't need a shower, a rain shower. there's haiti, way down here. no effect on that island nation to the west of the dominican republic. still the same forecast for the track. for the next few days, the forecast has not changed. still a minimal category 4. 115 knots, 135 miles per hour, that's just a couple miles per hour in the category 4, so a
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large 3, small 4 depending on your point of view. but the cone of uncertainty or the cone of possibility still through parts of the east coast, still brushing past the carolina coast, possibly even passing through cape cod. most of the track is east of there. most of the potential is east. certainly 85% chance of this storm missing the east coast altogether, at least the eye. but 15% chance that it does go far enough left that it could hit. the problem is, this is a large storm. you can't just focus on the eye. there's going to be rain, wind, currents, the rip currents, of course, and waves, waves with the storm are 30 feet out in the middle of the ocean. imagine waves crashing on shore anywhere in the carolinas, even up to 15 feet, that will wash a lot of sand away, there will be beach erosion and certainly a lot of the beach erosion will come with those waves that could pull swimmers out to sea. if you're going to out there for the we